by Jill Forman
In the last column, I talked about the challenges and accomplishments of the past year. My idea for this issue was to describe the plans for the coming year.
Update from VCLSA Director Nancy Schram:
Effective Wednesday January 5, 2022, Ventura County Library Branches and the Mobile Library will be closed for indoor library services, but will continue to provide curbside/walk up holds pick up to provide access to library materials including Computer Kits with internet access. Online programs will continue to be available including a robust collection of e-books, databases, and virtual services such as live homework assistance, chat reference services, and more. Wi-Fi will be available outside library facilities during normal hours of operation.
Over the next few days, we will work to update the website to reflect this change and notify customers, work with our Friends of the Library groups to cease indoor library sales inside the libraries, implement walk up holds pickup (and curbside where feasible by special request), provide telework opportunities for staff whenever possible and work with minimal staffing levels in library facilities, cease in-person meetings at the libraries, cease in-person programs and services in library facilities, and post updated signs that are clearly visible in both English and Spanish at all library facilities.
The Ventura Friends of the Library may still distribute used books they have sold online outside the Hill Road Library, and staff should be able to continue to accept donations.
Select library programs may continue in-person if they are held outside and with safety protocols in place.
At this time, there will be no change to hours of operation at the library facilities. We may have to make adjustments moving forward.
The safety of our staff and customers remain the utmost priority.
Update from City Librarian Dolly Knight:
Currently all branches will continue their regular hours.
How does the Ventura Friends of the Library fit into this?
Good question. Since the situation is changing daily, we will once again be called on to be flexible and innovative. Fortunately, we have procedures in place that can be reinstituted while this state of affairs continues.
Online sales – Will be continued, with pickup re-established at Hill Road. As of now, pickup will be 10-12 a.m.
Foster Bookstore and Hill Road Shelves – Closed for at least three weeks.
Donations – Bins at Foster and Hill Road will be out during curbside pick-up hours. Please limit your donations to one bag at a time. The warehouse will continue to take donations on Fridays 9-11 a.m.+
Warehouse – COVID protocols can be reinstituted: Limited number of workers at a time, masks, checking temperatures if that is part of current practices, and whatever new requirements arise.
Proposed book sale January 22 – Postponed for now.
This is all just announced and may be completely changed before this issue goes to print. Regardless, The Friends will continue to serve the community and the Ventura Libraries; that is our mission and our passion.